Police in Migori have launched a manhunt for a house help who is suspected to have poisoned her employer’s children and another one belonging to her new maid in Oruba estate.
One child died on Tuesday morning while two others and their new house help have been admitted to St Joseph Ombo Mission Hospital where they were rushed for treatment.
Ms Bertha Oluoch, a teacher at Migori Primary School, said her children were okay when she arrived from work on Monday but they later started vomiting and complained of stomach pains.
“When I arrived home after school, they were all okay. But moments later, they started vomiting and complaining of stomach pains so I rushed them to the hospital,” she said.
Ms Oluoch recounted how her house help, identified as Ms Belinda Atieno, had packed all her belongings and left in a huff after preparing the evening meal, which she now suspects might have been laced with poison.
According to Ms Oluoch, the meal was served to all her four children but the older ones did not take it as they had gone out to play in the neighbourhood.
“She prepared some potato fries and cooked bananas which she served to my children and the new house help then packed her belongings and left," she said.
Ms Linda Endekwa, the new maid who was admitted to hospital alongside the two children, said she ate the food with her son before going to bed only to discover he had died when she tried to wake him up the following day.
“I felt a sharp pain in my stomach when I tried to walk to the washroom. I had grown so weak even to move downstairs so I shouted for help. Fortunately, madam came to my rescue and helped me,” she said.
She said Belinda had been complaining of harassment by her employer and that she had not been paid her dues.
“Belinda had been accusing madam (her employer) of withholding her wages for the last four months and had hinted at teaching her some lesson,” she said.
Mr Collins Mwanga, a clinical officer at the hospital, confirmed that there were traces of food poisoning in the patients admitted to the wards.
“We received the two children and a lady in her twenties who reportedly lost her son in what we suspect to be food poisoning,” he said.
According to Dr Mwanga, the patients had consumed the food which is suspected to have been poisoned.
"We did a lab test and admitted the four patients," he said.
Dr Mwanga said they would ascertain the cause of the death once the results are out.
"The results will be out in three days and we will give a comprehensive report,” he said, adding that the three patients are in stable condition.